Themes in the Books of Kings (01) - The End of the Story
Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life; 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life. 2 Kings 25:26–30
We are beginning a series of studies in the Book(s) of Kings. These books were considered one book by the Jews are a literary unit. The Hebrew title is M’lakhim Aleph Beth and there is no page break between the books. The Latin title is Regum I II, despite the English Bible division into 1-2 Kings. The can be seen from the parallel outline of the book(s):
A. Jerusalem and the Kingdom Prospering Under Solomon (David’s Son) (1 Kgs 1:1-11:25)? B. Jeroboam and the Division of Kingdom (1 Kgs 11:26-14:31)
C. Kings of Israel and Judah (1 Kgs 15:1-16:22)
D. The Omride Dynasty and Baal Worship (1 Kgs 16:23 - 2 Kgs 12)
C'. Kings of Israel and Judah (2 Kgs 13-16)
B'. Fall of the Northern Kingdom (2 Kgs 17)
A'. Jerusalem and the Kingdom Fall Under David’s Son (2 Kgs 18-25)
(Modified from “The Literary Structure of Kings” Robert L. Cohn Lafayette College)
The Books of Kings include amazing stories and some difficult passages. It speaks of Solomon’s wisdom and glory, the construction of Solomon’s temple and palaces, the great stories of Elijah and Elisha, Jehu the avenger, the evil of many kings, such as of Ahab and Jezebel, the fall Samaria (Israel) to Assyria, the reforms of Josiah, and finally the exile of Judah and the destruction of the temple and city. There enigmatic stories like the Prophet who is deceived (13:11-32) who spoke of the demise of Jeraboam’s golden calf worship in Bethel and Dan; the episode with Micaiah the true prophet and Ahab’s death in which the Lord sends lying spirits to 400 prophets (1 Kgs 22). The two books together unfold from the reign of Solomon to the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of Judah.
Key Themes include: The fulfillment of the Word of the prophets, the Davidic promise, and the judgment of exile coming on Israel and Judah.
Until We Know His Story, History is Just Information
Until We Know His Story, We Don’t Know History
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more